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Honors projects are expected to make an original contribution to their fields of inquiry or activity. The Honors in the Major project may consist of entirely new work; it may build on or previous research, a capstone, co-op, or other learning experiences; or it may combine both prior and new work.  

Honors in the Major is open to all students in a CSSH major with a GPA of at least 3.5. It is separate from and does not require being in the University Honors Program, though it is open to students in the University Honors Program as well. Guidelines for completing Honors in the Major in PPE, Philosophy, and Religious Studies are below.

You can also find general information on the CSSH Honors in the Major Program here: 

Note that projects may occur over one or two semesters. 

  1. Student must secure a faculty mentor
  2. Student should write a proposal (see below) 
  3. Student should submit the proposal along with approval from the faculty mentor no later than the first week of the semester in which the project is being undertaken to the PPE Director, Undergraduate Program Director of Philosophy or Religious Studies, depending on the major, as well as the Chair of the Department of Philosophy.
  4. If the student is doing the Honors in the Major for credit as part of an Honors Seminar or Capstone course, their project must be approved by a committee. PPE Direct or Undergraduate Program Director of Philosophy or Religious Studies will put together the committee as needed.
  5. If the student is not undertaking the project for credit but only to receive the Honors in the Major designation, approval by the faculty mentor will be sufficient 

The proposal is must be approved before registering for the research course. It should be a narrative of 750-1000 words and include: 

  1. A statement of the thesis or research question;  
  2. a preliminary theoretical framework;  
  3. methodology and data sources, if relevant; significance of the contribution;  
  4. a clear statement of the rationale and goals of the final project; 
  5. an account, if relevant, of preliminary or related work completed (e.g., co-op experience, prior research) and its relationship to the final project as proposed;  
  6. if appropriate to project format, a preliminary bibliography of relevant texts or other materials; and 
  7. a timeline of intermediate benchmarks and steps toward the final product.   
  8. How the student plans to share their work with the department or college, for example by giving a department colloquia or at venues such as the CSSH Undergraduate Research Forum or the university Research, Innovation, Scholarship, and Entrepreneurship (RISE) fair. 

If the research involves human subjects the student must contact Nan Regina, Director of the Division of Research Integrity, to determine whether IRB approval is necessary.  The IRB guidelines and process can be found here: 

  1. If the project is not being done for credit, the faculty mentor will make a determination about whether or not the work merits “honors in the major.” The faculty mentor will then let the chair/director of the program know before the last day of the semester. 
  2. If the project is being taken for credit, student should submit the final project no later than 2 weeks before the final day of classes for the semester to the PPE Director or PHIL or RELS UPD so that it can be reviewed by the committee in addition to the faculty mentor. 
  3. Student should include a 1-2 page reflection explaining how their project makes an original contribution to the field, extends their previous research in a significant way, or makes some other important contribution. If part of a seminar, student should make clear how their contribution makes a significant contribution and goes over and above what would be expected for a regular honors seminar or capstone course. 
  4. The Department must convey the names of successful Honors in the Major candidates to the Office of Student Advising/Registrar by the final day of classes each semester.  

The designation Honors in the Major will be determined based on the following:   

  1. If part of a class: student made a contribution that went over and above what would be expected for a regular honors seminar or capstone course by conducting some original, high-quality research independently or in conjunction with a supervisor or mentor. The Honors in the Major designation it will not be given for just completing the requirements of a seminar  
  2. If not part of a class: student made an original contribution to the field, extended their previous research in a significant way, or made some other important contribution
  3. If a student has or plans to share their research with the department, college or public (i.e., by presenting it in the department, RISE, a student conference, etc.)

If, after completing the project, the faculty mentor and/or committee’s evaluation finds that the project does not merit conferral of Honors in the Major, that finding will not in itself affect the student’s grade for any related coursework, GPA, eligibility for graduation, or any other recognition for which the student may be otherwise eligible. In other words, the student may still get credit for the capstone or honors project, but not the designation “honors in the major” 

If the project is approved, the department will convey the names of successful Honors in the Major candidates to the Office of Student Advising/Registrar by the final day of classes each semester.  The designation “Honors in [Major]” will appear on the student’s transcript.